Young apprentice finds right fit in industry

EQIP graduate Alex Cooper, 16, started as an apprentice fitter and turner at Rio Tinto Alcan Yarwun this year after deciding child care and teaching were not for her.
EQIP graduate Alex Cooper, 16, started as an apprentice fitter and turner at Rio Tinto Alcan Yarwun this year after deciding child care and teaching were not for her. Luka Kauzlaric

THE work of a fitter and turner is a tough gig, but 16-year-old Rio Tinto Alcan Yarwun apprentice Alex Cooper feels she's found her calling.

Alex is one of about 270 students to study with the training organisation Education Queensland and Industry Partnership.

She enrolled in the EQIP Process Plant Operations program when she was a student at Toolooa State High School, and landed an apprenticeship at completion.

"I did teaching work experience and child care, and just didn't enjoy any of it," she said.

One of her friends suggested that because she was in industry town, she should try something in industry.

So she did.

"I did work experience as a boiler maker at Monadelphous and fell in love with it," Alex said.

The EQIP Process Plant Operations program is sponsored by the three Curtis Island proponents - QCLNG, APLNG and GLNG - and CQUniversity.

Alex said she would definitely encourage others to go down the same path.

Topics:  apprenticeship employment eqip industry

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